SOUTHEND United’s Ted Smith has expressed his delight after receiving another international call up.
The talented goalkeeper has been named in England’s under 19 squad for a friendly in Germany at the start of September.
And the former King John School pupil, who played for the under 18s last season, cannot wait to again meet up with the best young players in the country.
“It’s very nice to be involved again, “said Smith.
“It’s been a long wait since the last under-18 game and you do wonder how things have progressed in that time.
“I think this campaign will be even more competitive because of the European Championships coming up.
“But, while this is only a friendly, you obviously still want to impress to make sure you can be involved in qualifying.
“Germany are also a big nation to be playing against and, while it would be nice to get some time on the pitch, it’s a bonus just being involved and having the chance to go out there.”
Smith will prepare for the game by continuing to train hard with the Shrimpers.
The youngster is working tirelessly to try and work his way in to Phil Brown’s starting line-up.
But, with Daniel Bentley and Paul Smith in his way, Smith knows it will be hard to move up the pecking order.
“Daniel Bentley is doing very well in the first-team and Paul Smith is a very experienced goalkeeper but I’m just working as hard as I can to get into the first-team,” said Smith.
“It’s tough but I’ll be patient and relish the challenge of trying to break into it.
“We’ve got a great goalkeeping group and I’m also enjoying the first-team environment, we’ve got a great group of lads here.”
For now, most of Smith’s chances to play will come in the club’s development matches.
And Smith will also be captaining the team this term.
“The development games are great because it’s nice to be able to get some games,” said the youngster.
“It’s nice to be captain and it’s a great experience for me.
“I didn’t really see myself as captain material coming through the youth team but I grew in confidence and that led to me getting youth captaincy.
“I’m not a natural leader I would say but I’m learning the role and I’m really enjoying it.”